Friday, April 6, 2018

Case of the Day: Zhang v. Chinese Anti-Cult World Alliance, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43865 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 14, 2018)

Summary:

Plaintiffs are New York residents who are practitioners of Falun Gong. Defendant organization is a New York non-profit whose mission is to expose Falun Gong as "an evil and dangerous threat to society." In addition to circulating pamphlets denouncing Falun Gong, members of the defendant organization alleged engaged in harassment and altercation with the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs sued alleging conspiracy to violate civil rights under 42 U.S.C. s. 1985. Defendants moved to dismiss.

The magistrate judge recommended denying the motion, and the court accepted. The court found there were adequate allegations for hindrance and deprivation of civil rights as required under the law, and rejected the defendant's arguments that it had First Amendment protection and Falun Gong was not religion.

Takeaway:

As a nation of immigrants, the United States through its courts end up taking on some of the world's disputes as well. Thankfully, we have the capacity to decide these points based on the rule of law--at least for now.


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